Yup, I know what you guys want.
Aside from easy dinner ideas and time saving hacks, you guys want nostaligia.
I know this to be true because everytime I post something that I rememebr from my childhood, y’all are like, “OMG I remember that as a kid…I haven’t had those in ages!!”
So, today I thought I’d post a real simple one – amaretti!
They are really easy to make, have a few ingredients and are pretty foolproof!
Aaaand they are naturally gluten free….woot woot!
My learning curve with all things that fall into the “Nostalgic Italian Cookie” catagory has not been that simple! My cousins and I embarked on a mission to get my aunt to show us how to make her famous bocconotti cookies! She pulled out a few (different) versions of her famous treat. The problem was, she wasn’t sure which one was the right one. We played around with it and finally came up with the right recipe!
We began reminiscing about all the cookies she had made over the years and, before we knew it, we were back at her house where she taught us how to make the very nostalic pesches, or peach cookies (which, funny enough, don’t have any peaches or peach flavouring in them!)
So, of course, because it bothered me that the peach cookie had no peaches in them, I thought “why not make a lemon version that has real lemon in it?”
With that in mind, these limone, or lemon cookies were created!
Then there were these chocolate chickpea cookies (yup, you read right, chickpeas!). They’re called Ceci ripieni and are famous in Abruzzo (the area of Italy where my dad is from!). I wasn’t expecting much but, they are darn tasty!!
There are so many nostalgic recipes on my blog, but these cuccidati are probably the most popular! My friend Vince told me about them a few years back (I had never heard of them because they are from Sicily and, well, I’m not). Then, my southern Italian friends Lisa and Tiziana, invited me to learn from the best..their Aunt Susie (good name, right?). So, after a day of intense baking, I left her house with a bucketful of cookies, a full heart and a mission to make a more simplified version (which I did…click here to see what the secret ingredient for the “cuccidati shortcut” is!!)
Well, there are many more recipes with a nostalgic flair, but as I was making a batch of amaretti for a party, I realized I had my mom’s recipe but I had never put it on the blog.
So, here we are!
They are super simple and a yummy treat to have with your daily coffee (or tea!)
You can even add almonds to some…they are made so many different ways!
And they keep well so make a batch and keep them on hand for that 3pm slump.
Just a warning though. If you bring them to work with you, you’ll notice a lot of your colleagues getting a 3pm slump too (but only after you tell them that your treats are the cure to that darn midday productivity decline!!).
Let me know how that works for ya!
Nonna's Amaretti Cookies
- 4 1/2 cups almond flour/almond meal
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- icing/powdered sugar, for rolling
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, sugar and salt until evenly incorporated.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until they hold soft peaks, then dust in cream of tartar and the extract.
- Add the egg whites to dry ingredients and stir until mixture forms a soft, sticky dough (the egg whites will deflate...that's okay!)
- Lightly dust your hands with powdered sugar and, using a small cookie scoop, form the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the ball btween your hands and then roll in icing sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 inch of space between cookies.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until tops are cracked and bottoms are just golden. If you like a crunchy amaretti, you can bake them for an extra 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight bag or container, for up to 5 days.